Published February 4, 2017 by Janice Millirons Hayman in Associate Pastor Article

Devotional Passage: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
4 “Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant.”

     February is that time of the year when we think about our spouses or if we are not married, our very special girlfriend or boyfriend.  We go out of our way to express love in a thousand different ways:  buying candy or a card for each other, going on a special date to a special place, spending extra time together, thinking of ways to surprise one another and that’s just the beginning of it all.  When February 1st rolls around you know you don’t have much time before Valentine’s Day arrives!  Don’t let it sneak up on you!

     When Paul talked about love in the Bible, he reminded us of the many characteristics of love, how love exemplifies itself and what love isn’t.  The verse above (1 Corinthians 13:4) is one example of Paul’s excellent teaching to Christians about love.  Many of us already know that the Greek word Paul uses here is agape which is all about God’s love.  There is nothing wrong with the love that we have for our family members, our spouses or our special friends on Valentine’s Day and we should express that love.  Paul lifts our eyes higher in this passage though to God’s kind of love and we can only say with Charles Wesley, the song writer, “Amazing love, how can it be, that Thou my God should die for me?”

     When you read verse 4 and other verses in this chapter, you say, “Wow, that’s a tall order” because sometimes you are not patient, you are jealous, you are not kind, you do brag and you are arrogant.  That’s because loving or trying to love by your own strength is impossible.  Loving with God’s strength and power through you will help you understand day by day what it means really to love people!

     The next time you read 1 Corinthians 13, put “Jesus” in place of the word “love” whenever you come to it.  Then “buckle your seat belt” when you read it again, because the second time you read it you need to put your name in the place of “love” and then you will see how much you need to still learn about love.  But don’t get discouraged, we are all still learning, and there’s plenty of time to learn.  Happy Valentine’s Day and just keep loving like God loves you all year long!